In magical practice, the term magnum opus has a different meaning than in popular context. Latin for "the Great Work," its been used since the early alchemists, and taken on various shades of metaphorical meaning through different traditions, but they're all essentially referring to the same thing: the total actualization of one's will, and the creation of the idealized self. Grant Morrison, the most inventive writer in comics, has been at it for a while now.
John R. Parker
Image Comics' Nowhere Men is one of the most talked-about series of the last few years, but public opinion is fickle. A pop-sci fi tour de force by Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire, and Fonografiks, it quickly gathered critical acclaim and a handful of Eisner nominations before --- just as quickly --- effectively disappearing.
Now, more than two years since the last issue, the series is finally returning, with Nowhere Men #7 landing this Wednesday, January 20. In advance of the return, Eric Stephenson spoke with ComicsAlliance about the delay, the comeback, new artist Dave Taylor, and taking inspiration from David Bowie.
There might be writers more talented than Garth Ennis, but none are as bafflingly talented as Garth Ennis. Nobody else has such an immense capacity for complex human drama hidden beneath a surface so utterly drenched with puke jokes.
An unabashed lover of scatological humor, extreme violence, and vicious satire, the Northern Ireland-born writer, born 46 years ago tomorrow on January 16 1970, is something of an acquired taste. One might even go so far as to call him polarizing. For everyone who dismisses Ennis as juvenile, vulgar, and vile, you'll find at least one more who will tell you that Garth Ennis is a special kind of brilliant.
Making its debut on November 29, 1988, author Neil Gaiman's The Sandman ran for seventy-five issues, and by its conclusion in 1996, it had sucked in several audiences that typically didn't read comics, including academics, bibliophiles, and even comics' hardest get; women. What is it about The Sandman that makes it such a crossover success?
Any look back over Alan Moore's career is likely to overlook a lot of really great comics. Beyond the usual works that are typically rattled off as the highlights of his career are British works that never got big in America, independent comics that never got wide distribution, and reams of short stories that have fallen between the cracks. You might have read a few of them, but they're all worth a look.
Alan Moore's greatest hits include Watchmen, Saga of the Swamp Thing, From Hell, Marvelman, The Killing Joke, V for Vendetta, Tom Strong, Supreme, Top Ten, Promethea, the hundreds of pages of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and a couple of the best Superman stories of all time, but as this list proves, there's a lot more to Moore.
Born today in 1953 in Northampton, England, Alan Moore grew up to be a giant. His impact on comics is so vital and apparent that even reporting on his accomplishments feels both daunting and profoundly unnecessary. Widely regarded as the best comics writer of all time, Moore's influence is without question; his presence an articulate line of demarcation carving up the medium into two decidedly different eras. Moore is a juggernaut, monolithic in both influence and intractability, with a true legacy even greater than his supposed one.
As the Peanuts' 65th Anniversary year winds down, Peanuts-related news seems to be ramping up. The Peanuts Movie hits theaters this weekend, and every preview and trailer manages to look better than the last; Charles Schulz's birthday is coming up on November 26th; the United States Postal Service unveiled a new Forever stamp; there's a new tribute book out on the stands, which we reviewed yesterday; and Charlie Brown and the gang even appeared in the seventh-inning stretch of Game 2 of the World Series.
When it comes to Peanuts news, though, Fantagraphics is taking the crown. The curators of the complete Peanuts library have three new hardcover releases coming up just in time for the holidays: Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron, the full-color Peanuts Every Sunday: 1961-1965, and The Complete Peanuts 1997-1998, and all three are worthy of addition to your collections.
Of all the artists who've made a permanent impact on comics, Jim Steranko did so the quickest, solving the puzzle in the fewest moves. Born on this day in 1938, he's had many occupations --- artist, writer, magician, escapologist, musician, designer, publisher, scholar, innovator, raconteur, living legend, and Twitter celebrity. His life and art are so singular that only one word seems to describe him: Steranko.
Koren Shadmi is an award-winning illustrator whose work has been seen in the likes of Wired and The New York Times, and whose comics are apparently known elsewhere in the world, but he's yet to have his big breakthrough in American comics. Hopefully that changes with his new book The Abaddon, from Z2 Comics, a haunting and exquisite trip into sex and death, memory and torment.
On October 2nd, 1950, Charles Schulz's Peanuts debuted in nine newspapers for United Features Syndicate. Fifty years later, it concluded with just shy of eighteen thousand strips published in thousands of papers, with the final installment appearing one day after Schulz passed away.
Between those two loci, Peanuts begat a billion-dollar media empire, the modern American comic strip, and a legacy of progressiveness, honesty, and inclusion that endures today. If Peanuts isn't definitively the greatest comic strip of all time, it's probably the most influential, and certainly the most successful, forever altering the dominant styles and subject matter of the funny pages.